The local media in Asia gave world’s No. 1 Yani Tseng a nickname. They’re calling her the “Queen of Golf,” Yani told me laughing during a phone interview last week. She’s not sure she’s deserving of such high praise, but she’s won four times in four starts in 2011, which vaulted her to No. 1 in the world after capturing the Australian Ladies Masters. On Sunday Yani continued her hot streak by dominating at the LPGA season-opener in Thailand. She shot a final round six-under 66 and blew away Michelle Wie by five shots.
“I just tried my best and I know I had lots of confidence, but with all the great golfers out here, you never know until the last putt drops in,” said Yani, who has remained modest despite her Queen of women’s golf status. “I really enjoyed the tournament this week.”
Yani will try to extend her winning streak to five in-a-row at this week’s HSBC’s Women’s Champions in Singapore.
“I feel very excited every week,” said Yani. “I just focused on this week. I think to myself, last week has passed. Don’t put pressure on this week. Next week is a new week and I’ll enjoy it.”
Even though Yani reached No. 1 for the first time in her career a few weeks ago, she wants to stay on top for the rest of the year. And I think she will.
Two years ago at the British Open Annika Sorenstam, Yani’s childhood hero, predicted Yani was going to be No. 1. When the media asked her about it, she laughed because she thought they were messing with her. When she realized Annika really said that, Yani was speechless that her idol and role model had such a high opinion of her talents.
By the way, I wish more people were aware of how funny and charming Yani is. I’ve chatted with Yani a few times in the past month and we’ve had some great conversations. Stay tuned to hear more about Yani and her story in a magazine coming to your mailbox in the near future.